Rights Infringement: DSS stalls trial in Peace Corps’ N2bn suit against police, others


Trial in a N2billion lawsuit slammed by the Peace Corps of Nigeria against the Nigeria Police and four others by Trustees of the Peace Corps of Nigeria and its National Commandant, Dickson Akoh could not proceed on Monday.

The presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole who was scheduled to commence hearing in the case was compelled to adjourn the matter following a passionate plea by the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS) to correct a fatal error in the process filed regarding the case in court.

Bar and Bench Watch reports that Akoh had instituted the suit against the Inspector General of Police, National Security Adviser, the DSS and its Director-General and the Attorney-General of the Federation, demanding N2billion compensation.

At the hearing on Monday, Tijani Gazali, counsel to the DG of DSS, prayed the court for time to enable him regularise the processes filed on behalf of his client.

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Gazali said that the name of the DG was omitted in the counter affidavit filed on behalf of his clients.

He prayed the court for a short adjournment to enable him correct the anomalies on the counter-affidavit, and to specifically reflect the name of Director-General of the DSS.

Since there was no objection to the application for adjournment, the judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, adjourned the matter until May 31.

The Peace Corps, in the suit filed by Kanu Agabi (SAN), is demanding N2 billion as compensation for the embarrassment caused it by the arrest and detention of its personnel by security operatives.

It is also asking the court to declare as illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional the arrest of Akoh and other officers as well as the sealing of its headquarters in Abuja and offices in the 36 states.

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Other reliefs sought by the corps include that the court should declare that it is entitled to fundamental rights to acquire and own properties, lawful assembly and freedom of movement.

This, according to the corps, is as guaranteed under Sections 34, 35, 40, 41, and 43 of the 1999 Constitution.

Peace Corps also applied for an order compelling the respondents to un-seal its headquarters and offices nationwide.

It also asked the court to order the respondents to release properties seized during their unlawful invasion of its office.

It prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further sealing its office and disrupting its activities, including its meetings and orientation of its members.